Image by Aron Kale, official artist of the festival 2018

Image by Aron Kale, official artist of the festival 2018

About the festival

Art Without Borders is an annual festival in Reykjavik, Iceland. It showcases art from all art forms by disabled artists and supports collaborations between artists. The festival was founded in 2003 during the European Year of People with Disabilities. 

Art Without Borders is the only venue in Iceland that focuses entirely on the artistic creation of disabled artists and is absolutely unique within the Icelandic art scene.  Every year the festival gains more attention, interest and respect. It is essential to create a platform where new opportunities and paths can open up to encourage equality within our society. Bringing together different groups and individuals opens more and more doors and opportunities. The visibility of different individuals is important, both in society and in social discourse.

The festival has collaborated with different individuals, organisations and groups,  collaborated with art museums, working artists, playgroups and musicians. The festival has initiated discourse on the image of disabled artists in the arts and the art of disabled people in collaboration with the University of Iceland, the National Museum and the Nordic House. Art Without Borders emphasizes that the art of disabled artists is valued equally within the arts scene as the art of disabled artists.

Art Without Borders was awarded the Múbrjótur Þroskahjálpar in 2009 and was nominated for the ÖBÍ Incentive Prize in 2011. In 2012, Art Without Borders received the Reykjavik City Human Rights Award.


Organizastion of the Festival

Art Without Borders runs every autumn for a few weeks and includes all art forms. The festival's schedule is both “on-venue” and “off-venue”. The On-Venue program is the official program of the festival and is curated by the artistic director with artistic goals in the foreground. Therefore, the festival's official program has an artistic focus but everyone can organize events on the festival's agenda in the so-called "off-venue" program regardless of content, as long as it focuses on art by disabled artists. The official program is held in one venue and includes art shows, concerts, events, forums and workshops.

Each year, the festival selects the artist of the year, anyone can nominate an artist for selection. All disabled artists are eligible regardless of art-form, the festival will showcase works by the artist and works by the artist will be used to promote the festival that year.

Works by Atli Már Indriðason, official artist of the festival 2019

Works by Atli Már Indriðason, official artist of the festival 2019

Installation by Karl Guðmundsson, official artist of the festival 2015

Installation by Karl Guðmundsson, official artist of the festival 2015

Art without borders
Across the country

Art Without Borders is a festival of possibilities, a festival of variety and opportunity for everyone, no matter where they live in Iceland. The festival has been held all over the country in recent years, organized by project managers in East Iceland, Northern Iceland, Reykjanes and the West Fjords who run the program in their own country.

Anyone can produce a local Art Without Borders in their area with the approval of the artistic director of Art Without Borders. The Executive Director and the Artistic Director are in charge of the festival program in the Greater Reykjavík area, which showcases artists from all over the country. If you are interested in hosting an event in the name of an Art Without Borders in your local area or would like to participate in Art Without Borders List, please email us at

Opening in Reykjavik.jpg

Want to participate?

Contact us at



The Art Without Borders strategic planning process was conducted during the winter of 2018 and 2019. The process included conversations with the artists, users and audience of the festival.

Art Without Borders 2019-2021:

  • To create a professional forum for disabled artists and encourage recognized exhibition spaces to showcase art by disabled artists.

  • To promote collaborations between different groups and individuals through artistic creation.

  • To be a platform for all the arts.

  • To be a unique and vibrant festival.

  • To have an artistically curated program held in one place that can host all events organized by the artistic director.

  • To invite everyone to register their own events on the festival schedule, so-called off-venue programs, and can thus invite everyone to participate.

  • To increase the festival staff in order to distribute the workload and improve the festival's professionalism.

  • To promote Nordic co-operation and to organize more Nordic exhibitions.

  • To promote the participation of people with disabilities in art events outside the metropolitan area.

  • To increase the visibility of the festival and disabled artists in the media and on social media.

  • To increase conversation with managers and organizers in the arts world.

  • To raise more funds for the festival.

The board of Art Without Borders, the Artistic Director and the Executive Director strive to achieve all these goals, so the festival can grow and prosper even further.



Member societies of the festival:

Fjölmennt, Átak, Hitt húsið, Landssamtökin Þroskahjálp, Öryrkjabandalag Íslands and Bandalag íslenskra listamanna.

Representatives in the Board 2018 - 2019:

  • Margrét Norðdahl, Þroskahjálp - Chairman of the board

  • Steinunn Guðný Ágústsdóttir, Fjölmennt

  • Ágústa Erla Þorvaldsdóttir, Átak – félag fólk með þroskahömlun

  • Guðríður Ólafs- og Ólafíudóttir, Öryrkjabandalag Íslands

  • Margrét Pétursdóttir, Bandalag íslenskra listamanna.

  • Ásta Sóley Haraldsdóttir, Hitt húsið